The Power of Museums

“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
– Frida Kahlo

Ten museums, including The Ivankiv Museum, The Kharkiv Art Museum and The Mariupol Museum of  Local Lore, appeared on the list published by UNESCO on 3rd May including 120 cultural sites that have been damaged since 24th February as a result of the war. In light of the heartbreaking humanitarian and cultural heritage loss, this year we appreciate the possibility of a safe visit to a favourite museum more than ever before.

International Museum Day

Organised annually since 1977 by The International Council of Museums, International Museum Day falls on 18th May. Each year the event is held under a specific theme that reflects society’s needs. 2022 theme, The Power of Museums, has been chosen to evoke the forward movement in which museums find themselves today and their creativity in moving towards a free and sustainable society‘ and is based on the following three aspects:

the power of achieving sustainability

the power of innovating on digitalisation and accessibility

the power of community building through education

Focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals, becoming digitalised and, as a result, more and more accessible, and offering numerous educational opportunities to everyone, especially the young generation whose decisions will shape the future world, museums – ‘sources of pleasure and inspiration’ /Helen Keller/, constitute a logical bridge leading from the past, through the present to a better future.

Common goal

Empowering the cultural sector in its digital transformation, Europeana supports museums all over Europe in their pursuit to open their virtual doors of culture to the largest possible audience. Among the 3500+ European institutions sharing their collections on the Europeana platform many are museums contributing to the impressive collection of over 50 million items available on the site. Furthermore, museum educators were invited to join the Europeana Education User Group. Together with teachers, they create innovative learning scenarios that connect formal and informal education and strengthen the interaction between museums and schools.

Are you an educator wishing to open the museum door to your students? Why don’t you check out the following learning scenarios and implement one in your class:

Celebrate International Museum Day on 18th May with your students, either with a visit to a real museum or a virtual one. Do not let the flowers die!

By Katarzyna Siwczak, Europeana Education Ambassador

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the National Library of Israel.

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